Category Archives: Fiction Writing

#55wordchallenge – “Not Oz Anymore” #flashfiction UPDATE Overachiever Award Winner)

Awarded the Overachiever Award.


In Lisa’s own words “the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less.” Each week writers pick one of three images as inspiration.


This week using all three may qualify for an over achiever award:



Image Source

Here’s my entry if you would rather not see the original version:

“Not Oz Anymore”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [55 words]

Oz had changed since Dorothy had last left. The scarecrow’s benevolent dictatorship had been overthrown by the One Eyed Man is King, but the Cyclops had eventually lost the people’s support when dust storms from the edges of Oz had eaten into the safer lands.

Dorothy rolled up her sleeves. “Toto, we’ve lots to do!”

#FiveSentenceFiction – Thunder “Shakubuku” #flashfiction

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin hosts a Five Sentence Fiction competition on her blog. This week’s theme is Thunder.

Here is my entry, which is metaphorically inspired by the stormy picture this week:



by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)

Herman “Lightning Rod” Humphries was, by all accounts, the record holder for surviving the most lighting strikes. It had certainly had an effect on him, neighbours and friends would sympathetically share, when sure he was not in earshot.

“It’s just part of the job,” he would explain shyly, “Being a park warden and all.”

When asked if he minded the risk Herman responded, “Life is a risk, but it doesn’t stop you living before you die, like lightning comes before thunder.

“Better than dying before you live!” he would say, if people stuck around long enough,”Cos them that gets hit don’t hear the thunder.”

#FinishThatThought – “Finn’s First Day” #flashfiction (UPDATE Honourable Mention)

Got an Honourable Mention for this!

Alissa Leonard has created the “Finish That Thought” Flash Fiction compo, which usually provides an opening line and some ‘special challenge’ words to include, and must be less than 500 words. This week’s compo opening line was “It was [his] first day at [his] new [school], and [he] was determined to make this time different.” and the special challenge words were: skylight,
papercut and gown.

I didn’t have much time this week, but wanted to put something in, even if it was short. This is my story, but please check out the original submission and read other entries.

“Finn’s First Day”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [114 words]

It was Finn’s first day at his new school, and he was determined to make this time different. Ok, so he was from a large family, but most here were. It was all about procreation in this neighbourhood, and the males spread their seed quite widely.

Finn’s mother had been explicit: In school do NOT stick out; go with the flow; follow the majority. It would be safer that way!” she had said that morning. He had promised her he wouldn’t be baited. That he wouldn’t get out of his depth.

However, on this occasion, he decided to break the rules, to swim his own course. And that was when the shark ate him.

#TicckleTuesday #5 – Time Zones

Today’s theme
for #TicckleTuesday #5 will be ‘Time Zones’ (any interpretation allowed), because I got to thinking about when Tuesday actually starts and ends. New Zealand is 12 hours ahead and Samoa is 12 hours behind. So, technically, Tuesday is just under 48 hours long, depending on where you start and finish. It’s a “timey wimey” thing; see General Chat section later.

Image Source

Remember, your stories can be up to 60 seconds long. Go to the FaceBook Group (will need membership approved) or and reply to the video entitled #TicckleTuesday #5 part 1 and part 2 has further instructions.

You can either record 30s for extra credit (about 50-60 words on average) or 60s (which would be two Ticckle videos, so please label them part 1 and part 2 when you respond, and reply to part 1 with part 2 so they are linked. A minute is probably 120 words from my experience.

Alternatively, record a FaceBook video or an audio file (AudioBoo or SoundCloud are both good, as they allow you to share directly with the FB group). If the sound of your own voice horrifies you, please do push your comfort zone if you can, but I’d rather have a text entry that I will record for yoy than no entry at all.

And we have all week but extra extra credit for submitting today, Tuesday, but in honour of the theme it IS an extra long Tuesday this week 🙂

General Chat
Ok, is nowhere near big enough to expect uploads from all four (?) corners (???) of the Globe. To be honest it probably never will be, and is more likely to evolve into a vox populi site for lazy TV news networks, if they can spot a good thing when they see one. Furthermore, #TicckleTuesday is at best a humble handful of submissions on and the FaceBook Group, but hey, we can dream… which leads me on to how to grow #TicckleTuesday. Not much. Just a bit; I don’t think I’d want it to be huge. We are still very small, so following @TicckleTuesday and RTing announcements and Ticckles will help grow the community. Thanks.

The best flash fiction compos get a few dozen submissions – Trifecta being consistently high. It certainly gives this blog the most feedback for my stories – but what marks out the better competitions is some kind of feedback beyond just announcing a declared ‘winner’, which is a bit ‘X-Factor’ really. The questions are:
1) Who should give the feedback: Me? Guest judges? Everyone?
2) What kind of feedback should be given? General good/bad? Grammar and Style (spelling is moot given this is an audio/video challenge)? Presentation?
3) Does there need to be any kind of prize/badge?

#satsuntails – understated caramel “A Glass Half Empty” #flashfiction (UPDATE Winner!)

This story got Overall Winner.


I’m quite keen on the #satsuntails flash fiction compo, which uses a phrase and an image as prompt.

This week’s stories need to be 150 words and embrace the idea of “understated caramel” and the following image:


Researching the phrase came up with pretentious descriptions of beer and flavoured vodka (who knew?), which lead me to the idea.
Here’s my entry, but please check it out in its original location (to read other entries) too:

“A Glass Half Empty”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

“Look I get it. I thought ‘whine tasting!’ was a typo. We’d get sloshed. Meet some adults. Have conversations. Get out of the house for the first time in eight months!”

Jake squeezed his wife’s hand “Ok, Jill. The babysitter’ paid for. We’ll give it a try.” He led her nervously into the restaurant.

A buffet at the far side remained untouched, as numerous couples, dressed to the nines, stood attentively listening to the ‘whine tasting’ coach sermonising. “Like fine liquor, there’s an ‘understated caramel’ here. A soupçon of emotional blackmail.” he judged a recording of a nest of hungry chicks. Several onlookers nodded agreeably. Others tilted heads to catch the nuances. “Now we move on to a baby’s cry. A hint of saddle…?”

“Oh my god, this is such bullshit!” Jill blurted out. “Fifty Pounds each! For this?”

The whine tasters turned, stared, and applauded. The coach sighed happily.

#FlashFridayFic – “A Unique Property” #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #38 asked for a 250 word story, based upon the following image:


Here is my second story, because the first was deemed ineligible, but please see this and other stories at the original location:

“A Unique Property”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

The third clue had Edward and Blanche Beamish stumped. They had found it tied with ancient red ribbon to the roof timbers of the hotel veranda; the location which the second clue had revealed quite quickly. As honeymoons went, stepping back sixty years, in the hope of retracing a journey someone else had planned but never started, was as romantic as it was tragic.

The first clue had been inside a wedding gift from Blanche’s great aunt, whose name was also Blanche. First class tickets to Egypt had been provided to help them “To find the beginning of their adventure”, or so the label read.

The elder Blanche apologised and admitted the trail might end quickly, as it had been set by her father many years before. “The chances of the rest of the clues still existing are slight, but my father was a resourceful man. I have faith you will find what he had intended me and my fiancé to seek.” was the only hint of what the gift contained the old woman would provide.

They repaid the spinster with thoughtful thanksgivings, and imaginings of at least a ‘Grand Tour’ of the Empire. Edward, a writer, promised to document their travels. Blanche agreed to send drawings and paintings when she could.

Later, the couple had time to discuss their benefactor’s sad history. “She never did marry.” the bride explained. “No one really knows why.”

“Or will not mention.” her new husband added. “Let us hope we succeed for her.”

#FlashFridayFic – “A Rose by Amy other name” #fridayflash #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #38 asked for a 250 word story, based upon the following image:

I promised myself I’d never do ‘fanfic’, but the picture forced me. At gun point! May the Goddess forgive me…

Here is my story, because it was removed from the original location, due to concerns over copyright; understandable for a US based site, but although “fair use” almost definitely applies, the host had never had fanfic submitted before and wanted to be cautious.

“A Rose by Amy other name”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

“Admit it, Doctor.” Amy tried not to be alarmed by the loss of blood. “You only came here because it was the one place a Fez would actually be cool.”

“No, I didn’t. Well, yes I did. But the rose was lovely… wasn’t it?”

“Until it bit me. Why won’t it stop bleeding?”

“Ah, yes… about that… Trust me, you’re in no danger.” The Doctor smiled reassuringly.

Amy frowned. “When you ask me to trust you, it’s usually because you’re lying.”

“Can you think of a better time for me to ask you to trust me?” He grinned boyishly. “How was I supposed to know it was a Sapient Rose?”

“A Sapient Rose? You mean it can think?”

“There’s Sapient Pear, of course. Makes lovely furniture. Very loyal. Follows you round like a dog…”

“Doctor…! Bleeding…!”

“Yes. Blood. Well, unless we return the flower to its mother plant… somewhere here apparently… you’ll turn into a… into a rose bush.”

“A rose bush?”

“Yes. It’s a ‘planty wanty’ sort of thing. Knew a Rose once. Lovely girl. My clone married her in an alternative… long story. No time for that now.” The Doctor looked flustered. “Just keep squeezing that finger. We don’t want the thorn getting any further in.”

“Or it’s ‘Briar Amy’, right.”

“That’s the spirit. Although ‘Rosa Amelia’ has a certain…” Amy frowned again. “Yes, right. Saving Amy. On it.” The Doctor returned to studying the chart. “We’ll need a camel. Camels are cool.”

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”


Doctor Who is a trademark of the BBC, Sapient Pearwood is copyright 1983 Terry Pratchett, story and original characters are copyright 2013 Mike Reddy, all rights reserved.

Author notes
This is my first, and only, fanfic story, written as an exercise in writing authentic dialogue for existing characters, so feedback would be appreciated. A 250 word flash fiction story written for #flashfridayfic to a picture prompt. it uses ‘in median res’, focusing on the 11th Doctor and Amy prior to Rory joining them, and involves Amy wearing period costume, as this is implied in the picture prompt. It should be considered a scene at best, but hopefully evocative of the early Matt Smith period.

#ThursThreads – “Eez Fatez, Yez?” #flashfiction

#ThursThreads is an odd flash fiction compo, because a line chosen from the previous winner is chosen as the prompt for the next competition. This week, the phrase “Do I get a head start?” is it.

Here is my entry, if you don’t want to see the original piece:

“Eez Fatez, Yez?”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

The visitor entered the Gypsy Tent, sat down and blurted to the veiled partition “How do I get a head start? I mean with my life. I just can’t seem to get a break.” he continued hesitantly. “Is… anyone here?”

A manicured hand parted the curtain, and waved a small brass crank until the man reluctantly took it. “Zis is a cranial crank, young manz…” came a voice dripping with European mystery. “Plaze in ze left ear to ztart your brain. Yez? And in ze right ear to ztop eet. Yez?”

“Are you seriously expecting me to…”

“Eez an ‘ed ztart you ver vanting, yez?” the hand gave a thumbs up then withdrew behind the veil. “Left to Ztart. Right to ztop. Five dollarz on ze table, yez?”

“I don’t understand. When I say ‘head start’ I’m not sure it’s meant literally. It’s a metaphor.”

“Ees metaforz, yez. Take. Take! Five dollarz.” the hand reappeared and pointed forcefully at the dish on the table. “Five dollarz pliz! Will helpz, yez.”

“Er… yez?” the man deposited five bucks in the dish and left. On his way out he stuck the handle in his left ear and gave it a comic twist. He laughed, then thought better of it and dropped the brass crank on the table, but left the money. “Zee geepzee had been worth zat mooch” he chuckled to himself as he left.

“And zo eet beginz…” the voice whispered. “At leezt not chooz rightz. we have eenuff Republeekanz, yez!”

#FiveSentenceFiction – Travel “Maiden Ticket” #flashfiction

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin hosts a Five Sentence Fiction competition on her blog. This week’s theme is Travel.

Here is my entry, which is heavily inspired by the Jungfrau Railway in the picture this week:


“Maiden Ticket”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
We pulled out of Kleine Scheidegg, and as we passed Eigerwand and Eismeer stations, I settled down to a predictable but fascinating nostalgic narrative from the old lady opposite, who claimed in broken English that she had been on the maiden trip in 1912.

“Darling Adolf, who the railway for me built and named, it to go to the summit wanted, with an elevator to make the magic stronger, but the Great War to that saw.

I the first ever passenger to arrive at the summit was, with a ‘maiden ticket’ that free passage to Jungfrau entitles for as long as me coming enjoy unchanged to this place continue to, which Adolf his TRUE gift was, you see.”

At the 3454m summit, the highest in the World according to my guidebook, the jungfrau, the now young woman who stepped off the train, turned to me, put a finger to her lips to seal me in the secret, then blew a kiss before hopping straight on the downward train, stopping only to purchase a return fare from the rather surprised conductor. This last action confused me, as I made my slower way out of the compartment, until I saw the tattered ticket sticking out of my guidebook, with a little note that read “For as long as you can, my dear, to enjoy, but no longer.”

#55wordchallenge – “Untitled” #flashfiction (UPDATE Winner of Overachiever award)

This story has been awarded an Overachiever Award

In Lisa’s own words “the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less.” Each week writers pick one of three images as inspiration.


This week using all three may qualify for an over achiever award:

Mother with Child

Woman and Teddy Bear


Lost Teddy Bear

Here’s my entry if you would rather not see the original version:

by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [55 words]

When young I hugged him. When he could sit he hugged Bear. When he could walk Bear hung by a dangled paw. When he was hit Bear flew, then lay still. With him.

Later, I followed in his footsteps. Dangling Bear. Stepping out. Being hit. Flying. Bear stayed behind. I flew on. He hugged me.